Phil Ivey’s legal team are contesting an allegation from the Borgata’s legal team that Ivey’s case is identical to one between 14 gamblers and the Golden Nugget in 2012 where the judge sided with the casino.
A legal team representing The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in their Baccarat battle with Phil Ivey are arguing that his case mirrors that of a group of gamblers who were forced to return $1.5m in winnings to the Golden Nugget.
In that 2012 case, 14 players realised that the deck of cards they were using in a game of Mini-Baccarat had not been shuffled and quickly increased their bet sizing from $10 a hand to $5,000. They won 41 straight hands.
The judge presiding over that case declared that the games were ‘not authorised’ because the cards were not pre-shuffled ‘in accordance with any regulation’, and this violated the Casino Control Act. The judge ordered the players to return their winnings plus outstanding chips. The casino had to refund the money the gamblers put up to play.
The Golden Nugget bought, what they assumed to be pre-shuffled cards, from a manufacturer in Kansas City. During court proceedings, the company admitted they had failed to shuffle the cards. The casino also sued the manufacturer, but a confidentiality agreement means the results will forever be a secret.
And now back to Ivey.
Phil Ivey’s Legal Team Dispute The Golden Nugget Angle
A legal team representing the Hulk Hogan of poker argued on Monday that Borgata’s claim that the two cases are ‘identical’ holds about as much water as a thimble.
Ivey’s team reminded the court that the charges levied against their client and his accomplice Cheng Yin Sun are for ‘breach of contract’ and that the judge presiding over Ivey’s case had admitted that Ivey had not violated any rules or regulations, the opposite of the ruling in the 2012 Golden Nugget case.
Cheng Yin Sun argued that despite using edge sorting tactics to win the huge haul they were still gambling.
“I can’t be accurate all the time, you know,” she told the court.
She had a point – they did sustain a $2.7 million loss in ‘minutes’ during their third visit to the casino during the four trip run that saw them win over $10m. The story – which broke in NorthJersey.com – pointed out that during that visit; Ivey won 864 hands, lost 822 and tied 184.
“Defendants can prove that the edge sorting technique provides information for betting purposes only, and does not change the percentage of the winning hands to any extent,” Said Ivey.
The judge will now have to decide whether Ivey has a point, or whether he or she will be swayed by Ivey’s decisions to increase his bets to $100,000 a hand when he used edge-sorting techniques to identify when a ‘first card advantage’ was in play.
The Borgata are seeking $15m in costs.